After Oakland’s Dallas Braden tossed his perfect game against Tampa Bay on Sunday, ESPN’s Jayson Stark provided a phenomenal stat to illustrate how incredibly rare that feat is.
Believe it or not, more men have traveled to the moon (24) than have thrown a perfect game (19) in the big leagues.
So with that in mind, it’s worth pointing out that Mike Cameron has done something even fewer people have done – he’s one of only 15 players in MLB history to hit four home runs in one game (here’s the list).
(photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
Cameron put his name in the record books as a member of the Seattle Mariners on May 2, 2002 when he belted solo home runs in his first four at-bats against the Chicago White Sox.
And that was all by the fifth inning.
In the seventh inning, Mike was hit by a pitch, and in the ninth inning he flied out to the warning track in right field.
“To go to the plate four times in a major league stadium and hit four home runs – I think it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced in my life,” Cameron told me. “Everybody kept asking me, ‘What did you feel at the plate?’ I just felt like I was seeing the ball well. It was almost like the ball stopped and I put a good swing on it. It’s a zone that you get into – I was like a little kid having an unbelievable time. That was the first time since 1957 that it had been done in the American League since Rocky Colavito and I was like, ‘Oh my goodness.’ I’m in pretty good company. When they started reeling off the names of guys that have done it before it was unbelievable. I tried to duplicate it the next day against the Yankees and I think I dribbled three balls into the ground. There’s no way you can go up there and try to hit four home runs.”
When the game ended, Cameron’s teammates gave him a hero’s welcome when he returned to the clubhouse after meeting with the media.
“Everyone lined up and held up bats like I was ‘King for a Day,’ Cameron said. “They made me a silver bat by putting aluminum foil around my bat and they made me an aluminum foil crown, and then everybody lined up and made it seem like I was walking down the red carpet and they poured beer on me as I walked through. It was a joyous feat that I’ll never forget. To this day, I remember the feeling I had at the plate that day.”
Cameron began a rehab stint with Pawtucket on Monday and went 2-for-6 with a double and 2 walks in his first two games before taking a break on Wednesday. The 37-year-old outfielder is scheduled to DH for Pawtucket on Thursday before playing in the outfield at McCoy Stadium this weekend. He told reporters at Fenway Park on Wednesday that there are tentative plans for him to rejoin the Red Sox in New York on Monday.
His Pawtucket teammates are in no hurry for Cameron to leave. The 3-time Gold Glove Award winner dropped nearly $1300 dollars on a lobster and chicken post-game feast for the players and coaches on Tuesday. Rumor has it that they’ll be treated to steaks after Thursday afternoon’s game.
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The PawSox equaled their longest winning streak of the year on Wednesday with a 6-0 victory over Gwinnett.
OK, it’s only two games in a row but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?
To quote Confucius:
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
The PawSox have been getting great pitching on their current homestand. Boof Bonser, Fabio Castro, and TJ Large combined on a 4-hit shutout on Wednesday, and Pawtucket pitchers have not allowed an earned run in their last 30 innings.
Daniel Nava provided much of the offense in Wednesday’s win with a double, home run, and 4 RBI. After 32 games in Triple-A, Nava is batting .313/.409/.545 and leads the PawSox with 6 HR and 27 RBI.
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Congrats to former PawSox slugger Chris Carter on his promotion to the New York Mets.
Carter has been nicknamed “The Animal” by Mets manager Jerry Manuel for his hyperactive personality, and he wound up on the back cover of both New York tabloids after drilling a game-winning pinch-hit double in his Mets’ debut on Tuesday.
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The PawSox will look for their first 3-game winning streak of the year when they host Gwinnett on Thursday at 12:05.
If you can’t make it to McCoy, you can watch the game on Cox Sports throughout Rhode Island. I’ll join Bob Montgomery for the call.
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